Ukraine peace deal unlikely as Russia, Iran, and Turkey ramp up military preparations, why investors should be concerned - Pytor Kurzin
The war in Ukraine, which is reaching its one-year mark, is unlikely to end this year according to Pyotr Kurzin, a geopolitical analyst who worked for The World Bank and Amnesty International. He claimed that this, in turn, will have significant impacts on energy markets.
“The war in Ukraine doesn’t look like it’s going to come to any sort of peace negotiations even beginning, let alone there being some sort of secession of hostilities being reached,” he said. “That has implications for energy across Europe, it has implications for the Caucuses, and the Central Asian region.”
Russia’s war with Ukraine, which began in February of 2022, has escalated since then, with NATO countries promising increasing amounts of financial aid to Ukraine. This has recently included tank supplies, bringing the U.S.’s total aid to Ukraine to $100 billion.
Kurzin told David Lin, Anchor and Producer at Kitco News, that investors should closely watch Russia, Iran, and Turkey, as a “perfect storm” has been brewing since the autumn of 2022.
“In the past few months, particularly in September and October, we saw a clash… a perfect storm,” he said. “Iran is distracted with its internal situation, the riots, the protests, and the revolutionary movement. Russia is completely obsessed and focused on Ukraine. And now you’ve got Turkey… Turkey has been supply a lot of military to Azerbaijan.”
Tensions in the energy-rich Caucuses
Ongoing skirmishes between Armenia and oil-rich Azerbaijan are of particular interest to energy investors, said Kurzin, who highlighted the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh as a potential flashpoint.
“In the past few months, we’ve seen a lot of skirmishes between these two countries specifically over a region known as Nagorno-Karabakh, which is an internationally, legally recognized part of Azerbaijan, but is made up of 94 to 95 percent of ethnic Armenians,” he observed. “In 1991, this area declared its independence, known as the Republic of Artsakh. Nagorno-Karabakh makes up a part of this republic, and this angered the Azerbaijanis.”
Kurzin said that Azerbaijan, a “petro state,” had used its oil wealth to update its military, leading to further tensions between it and Armenia, from whom Azerbaijan claims parts of the Artsakh.
“They want to basically recapture or reclaim what they see to be the land and territory that they lost in that 1990s war, which led to the conflict in 2020, where several thousand people were also killed or wounded,” he explained.
To find out about Azerbaijan’s links to Turkey’s oil pipeline, as well which country Kurzin thinks is ‘the one to watch’ in 2023, watch the video above